Who Needs Justice by Rex Bolt has a scary premise. On a personal level, think of what you might do…
Worlds of Wonder by Emily Martha Sorenson is a collection of clever short stories that should entertain YA readers and inspire them to read more. This collection inspired me (not a YA reader) to read more in this genre. There are sixteen short stories and a section of author’s notes which describe the inspiration and publication history of the short stories. Readers should not skip this section, especially the selection “A Phone conversation.”
Rite of Passage This is a “road less traveled” type story while at the same time emphasizing the importance of family loyalty.
A Phone Conversation This is a story that has grown into relevance with the ascension of the Orange King to the White House. This story fits so well it is worth buying the collection for this story alone. A young boy wants to make a phone call but gets trumped.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid is a true psychological thriller but according to reviews I have read, I believe it is remarkable only in the correct format. I listened to the audible.com presentation. Not to take anything away from the author, the narration by Candace Thaxton “makes” the story. There is also a very good secondary narrator, male, who briefly appears but it is an appearance which adds necessary final touches. Although I was completely impressed by the audible presentation, I wanted to read it. On sale at USD 1.99 on Amazon, it has over 400 reviews and they are all over the place. There is almost an even distribution between one-star and five-star reviews. Mathematicians, please don’t criticize, I know the distribution is not quite even; check it out to see what I mean. Download the free reading sample and listen to the free audible sample available on the Amazon website. I give this five Amazon stars but I listened to it, then read it. My rating is based on the listening experience. The unique experience for me is that I agree with all the reviewers of the Kindle version who awarded from one to five stars. This is a story for listening.
JT Lawrence calls The Stepford Florist a “a smart, sexy, cyberpunk thriller.” It is a short story of about seventy pages. Lawrence is creating a world as a setting for a series. This story starts off fast with lines that are hard to ignore. After reading the following, how can you tear yourself away?
Chapter 1: Bootleg Vampire Facelift
Jasmine loads up the syringe with her client’s platelet-rich plasma, … she’s seen enough medical dramas on BingeStream to know how to act the part… vampire facelifts are murder on her feet.” (p.3-4).
Lawrence delivers the above lines on what is really the first page of text. How am I going to walk away from this? (I’m not.) Those lines are followed by the information that Jasmine operates a mobile Vampire Facelift Operation out of a caravan. That does not make her immune to a police raid which is unfortunate for the police raiding party. The caravan contains many boobytraps. My favorite was the cuckoo clock that attacked a police officer’s eyes once the clock struck … police officer.
The title of Six Shiny Silver Coins and the Ridiculous Ruckus They Caused by Emily Martha Sorensen is almost longer than the short story itself. This is Book One in a two-novel series: The Numbers Just Keep Getting Bigger Book 1. The Amazon price is USD 0.99. Book Two, Twenty-Four Potential Children of Prophecy is 113 pages with an Amazon price of USD 3.99.
The Maltese Incident by Russell F. Moran reinforced a lesson I should have learned before but after decades I still don’t get it. Don’t judge a book by its cover. In this case, the novel has a perfectly fine, even pleasant, cover. No criticism. As I was reading the first chapter, I thought, what a pleasant premise. What likable characters. This is going to be fun. What followed the first chapter required such a suspension of disbelief that even the effort was absurd. So, a personal modification. Don’t judge a book by its cover, blurbs, recommendations from carefully selected reviewers, or the first couple of chapters. In this case, I had already mentioned to some of my colleagues that this novel looked promising. My friends knew me for the fragility of my promises. But I’ll have to do a personal credibility repair job with them on this one.
Sticky Fingers 3 by J. T. Lawrence is another collection of short stories. Volume 2 impressed me so much I went straight to Volume Three. My desire to do things in order and complete items in series will compel me to return to Volume One eventually. I’m sure there is a name for this disorder.
Can readers avoid comparing one book in a series to another? I can’t. Volume three created a similar high level of reader interest for me as Volume Two but story number ten in this volume, Memory, Mirrors and the World Inside My Head (WimH), stands far above the others. It is a truly amazing story that I would not want anyone to miss so I gave the entire collection five Amazon stars just for that story. Still, the quality of the other stories supports the rating.
How To Exit Your Body and Other Strange Tales by Christopher Maxim has a forward by ‘Creeps McPasta (anyone think this might be a pen name)? It explains how the tales came about; the seven here are presented as some of the best by author Maxim. There is no single thread or type of weirdness; they are more like a collection of responses to writer prompts or late-night visits of the muse.
Sticky Fingers Volume 2 by JT Lawrence is the first collection of stories I have read by this author. This collection has twelve short stories; they are all a bit weird or twisted but not in an in-your-face way. To appreciate these, there must be reader engagement; readers will, on occasion, be required to provide their own conclusions. It is helpful to note that this author lives in Johannesburg. To find out why this is helpful, read the short stories. A quick note about the title (my impression). Why “Sticky?” Because the stories will stick to your mind either as amazing or as an impression of something like “What did I just read? What was its purpose?” If the purpose was entertainment, great, this collection did that. I gave this five Amazon stars for the way it woke me up and broke a pattern in my usual reading routine.
Supply and Demand by Cheynne Edmonstony is a short horror story with a unique interpretation of the economic theory of supply and demand. It is a story of debt collectors and their methods of the collection set in an unspecified time, probably in 1800(s) England. Readers will get the impression that debt collecting was a common occupation that supported small groups of uneducated thugs and hoodlums who, although uneducated formally, possessed a kind of street cunning that led to success in recovering amounts owed when interviewing selected targets. This 49-page story is worth reading because of the language used. I can only wonder at the amount of research Edmonstony must have done to produce the impression of language period authenticity this tale does.